Lerato Maimela
2 minute read
4 May 2021
10:16 am

Looking back at Melinda and Bill Gates’ 27 years of marriage

Lerato Maimela

Despite their wealth, the couple still enforced parenting methods which are similar to the average family

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates. Picture: Instagram

Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently announced on Twitter that after 27 years of marriage with his wife Melinda Gates, they have decided to end their marriage as they believe that they can no longer grow together as a couple in the next phase of their individual lives.

Melinda and Bill met in the mid 1980s, when Melinda worked at the Microsoft Corporation as a general manager. Microsoft was founded by Gates and his childhood friend, Paul Allen.

The pair started dating in 1987, after Bill asked Melinda on a date which ended with Melinda beating Bill in a maths game. They married seven years later in Hawaii in 1994.

 

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A post shared by Bill Gates (@thisisbillgates)

Melinda and Bill later had three brilliant children, Jennifer, Phoebe and Rory.

Although the Gates family is worth about $130 billion (R1,881 billion), Melinda and Bill enforced parenting methods which are somewhat similar to the average family.

The couple raised their children in the most modest ways, ensuring that they had responsibilities such as washing dishes.

Bill was also strict when it came to the use of technology. The couple put rules in place to prohibit the use of gadgets when the family is eating together and limits their screen time to ensure that the children get to sleep at a reasonable hour. The children were also not allowed to own cellphones until they were 14 years old.

Bill and Melinda also raised their children in a religious way, influencing all three of them to actively participate in the Catholic church Melinda goes to.


The multibillionaire couple co-founded the Gates Foundation, one of the most wealthy and influential philanthropic foundations in the world.

The couple said in their separation statement that although they can no longer stay married to each other, they will continue to work together with the foundation.

“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation,” the couple said.